Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) - Mangalyaan, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) maiden interplanetary mission, successfully completed 1000 earth days in its orbit around the red planet on Monday. ISRO’s mission has completed the 1000 earth days well beyond its designed mission life of six months.
On November 5, 2013, India’s low-cost Mars mission spacecraft was launched on board the PSLV-C25, an expandable launch system. On September 24, 2014, the MOM touched the orbit of the Mars in the very first attempt and broke into an elite club.
“MOM completes 1,000 earth days in its orbit, today (June 19, 2017) well beyond its designed mission life of six months. 1,000 earth days corresponds to 973.24 Mars Sols (Martian Solar day) and MOM completed 388 orbits,” ISRO said.
ISRO further said that the satellite is doing fine and continuous to work as expected. It also said that the scientific analysis of the data sent by the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress.
Citing surplus fuel as the reason, ISRO in March, 2015 had first announced that the spacecraft’s life was extended for another six months. Later in June, 2015 its Chairman AS Kiran Kumar had said it has enough fuel for it to last “many years”.
About Mars Orbiter Mission:
The Rs 450-crore MOM mission is aimed at studying the surface of Mars and mineral composition and to scan its atmosphere for methane, an indicator of life on the red planet.
The MOM has five scientific instruments – Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA), Mars Colour Camera (MCC) and Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS).
ISRO said that one of the scientific payloads onboard the MOM called the Mars Colour Camera has taken 715 pictures so far.From June 2, 2015 to July 2, 2015, MOM went through a communication ‘blackout’ during its journey as a result of solar conjunction.
During May 18 to May 30, 2016, it experienced the ‘whiteout’ geometry (when the Earth is between the Sun and Mars and too much solar radiation may make it impossible to communicate with Earth).
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In order to avoid the impending long eclipse duration for the satellite, an orbital manoeuvre was also performed on MOM spacecraft. MOM Announcement of Opportunity (AO) programmes for researchers in the country to use MOM data for R&D was also launched by ISRO.
ISRO is seeking scientific proposals for Mars Orbiter Mission-2 to expand inter-planetary research, the government said in November last year.